Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
Dry Run, Wet Run
If every movie is inevitably going to be a sequel, there have to be finer gradations to distinguish the wanted ones from the rest. So, we have found a new way to rationalise the instant sequel to Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster. The first movie, with its perilously low budget, could easily have been promotional material to get investors for the second — and this plan seems to have worked.Tigmanshu Dhulia will shortly begin a sequel with the same cast and lots more money. And nobody has legitimate grounds for complaint: Mahie Gill will be running a crime empire with her sexual wiles.
On The Cusp Of Marriage, Forever
The only parallel we can think of for all the stories about Rani Mukherji’s just-about-to-be-announced marriage all these years, is all the stories about the baby Jennifer Aniston is about to have. Now speculation speculates that Rani will get married, rather fittingly, in the dreaded year of 2012. Perhaps to show her eligibility or be grilled mercilessly again on the question of marriage, she will be the next guest on Simi Garewal’s show. And backstage rumours convey that Rani was tetchy about answering questions about her personal life. Can we really blame her?
Prepare yourself for the new technological era of reading the cloudy weather map of who likes who in Bollywood. Twitter is dangerous business, as Shahid Kapoor found out when reports spread that he had stopped following Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra. Shahid had to apologetically tweet “Read the weirdest story that I had stopped following SRK. Only to realise that I actually had. No clue how.” But now, nobody will forget Shahid’s Freudian holdout: he has yet to re-follow ex-girlfriend Priyanka Chopra.
God’s Own Country
In all honesty, we had given up on the utopian idea that any one of Simi’s guests could drive sense into the proceedings of India’s Most Desirable. And for many episodes, parents continued drooling publicly over their star children. That was until Asin arrived and Simi met cultural difference. Asin’s Malayali father refused to agree that marriage is the ultimate goal of life, Asin had to explain to Simi that beating up troublesome boys is what girls do in Kerala and Simi found out some anthropological truths. “Asin: Suriya is a very big star down south. Simi: Really?” Baby steps.
‘I debuted in a Habib Tanvir play when I was six’
WHO Saba Azad made her Bollywood debut in the 2008 film Dil Kabaddi. She will soon be seen in Yash Raj Films’ teen drama Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. Saba is the daughter of Shehla Hashmi, and the niece of Shabnam and Safdar Hashmi. She has acted in various Jana Natya Manch productions and has her own theatre company. She has been featured in various commercials such as Kit-Kat and Vodafone, and is a trained dancer and singer
Do you identify with your role in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge?
Mujhse… is a film based on social networking. I play a man-repellent girl, Preity, who fakes her identity when she falls for a rock star. I am not a Facebook addict. I only use it to keep up with friends and family. I do identify with my character’s insecurity. We are a little like that. But the film’s message is to be proud of who you are.
You belong to an eminent theatre family. What are your early memories?
I have been on stage for as long as I can remember. There was always a vibrant environment of readings and rehearsals. It’s almost as if I learnt how to walk on stage. At the age of six, I made my stage debut in Habib Tanvir’s Moteram Ka Satyagrah.
How did you end up modelling, dancing and singing? Do you have a preference?
I’ve been learning Odissi, ballet and jazz for 14 years. I dropped out of college in Delhi and ran away to Mumbai to pursue modelling. Singing happened on the side. I sing for bands like Backstratblues, and Ashu and The Petri Dish. I cannot choose what I enjoy the most, among them. I guess some people need to do a lot of things to be happy.
Is there an incongruity between your theatre background and a commercial Yash Raj film ?
A Yash Raj film is the last thing I expected. But then I thought that is the precise reason I should do it. I grew up on a very different diet of world cinema. My consumption of Bollywood was medium-rare. Doing this film has been a great experience for me.
If you had to choose one actor you could act with, who would it be?
I don’t even need to think about this. It would be Pankaj Kapur. He’s such a fine actor. I was completely floored by his portrayal of Abbaji in Maqbool. I would have loved to play that part, and would also love to act with him.
Sunaina Kumar is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com.